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The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study welcomed its new cohort of fellows last week who will tackle a range of year-long projects from waste management strategies to feminist poetry.
The Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program "offers scholars and practitioners in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and arts” the opportunity to conduct research at Harvard. This year’s cohort includes 50 fellows and four graduate student fellows from 14 countries.
Throughout the academic year, fellows will carry out projects across various disciplines. Projects chosen by the new fellows include constructing a robotic fish to better understand fish behavior, researching medical technology for chronic disorders, and creating a music series based on models like stock indexes and animal migration patterns.
Lisa I. Iezzoni, a Harvard professor and new Radcliffe fellow, looks forward to working on her project, which will focus on at-home support for individuals with disabilities.
“I am going to be working on a project about the professional support that people with significant disability might need to be able to continue living in their homes rather than being put into nursing homes,” Iezzoni said.
University of Chicago professor Brodwyn M. Fischer ’91, another fellow, said she is excited about the diversity of this year’s class of fellows.
“There’s a lot of racial and ethnic diversity, there's a lot of international fellows, there’s a huge diversity of disciplines,” Fischer said. “And there's also a huge diversity of generations.”
Fischer praised the fellowship program for bringing together a group of professionals who are “so different from one another” and eager to hear each other’s perspectives.
“One of the things that's really special about this fellowship is that it's one of the few places that I've ever experienced where a group of adults — that don't have a lot in common in terms of their work — come together and are actually really curious about each other and really want to enrich each other's work and learn about it,” she added.
Fellows also said they are eager to participate in the Radcliffe Research Partnership program, which pairs them with Harvard undergraduates. Throughout the year, the undergraduates will assist the fellows with their research and receive mentorship.
“I find that having students engaged in the research project is really challenging because often they ask good questions and look at the problem differently,” said Radcliffe fellow Christina L. Davis ’93, a Harvard professor.
“I think that the Radcliffe Research Partnership is a really valuable program for students to get a chance to engage in research and be part of the process,” she added.
Iezzoni said the program has exposed her to “new ways of thinking and new attitudes” so far, adding that she aims to leave her comfort zone during her time at Radcliffe.
“All I can say, a week in, is that my head is spinning — but in a very good way,” she said.
—Staff writer Caroline E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com.
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